Bill Baillie, second euphonium player with St. Ronan’s Silver Band, has been awarded an MBE for his services to brass banding.
Bill, who joined St. Ronan’s last year started learning to play when he was just nine years old and has now been playing euphonium for 58 years.
Over the years, Bill turned down various invitations to join top section bands throughout Britain and has focussed on local brass banding. He played for many years with Dalkeith and Monktonhall Colliery Band before joining St. Ronan’s in 2007.
Bill’s wife Margaret has support Bill's brass banding and often waited up to the wee hours for Bill to return from the contesting scene4BR
He has received many trophies over the years for solo playing, in fact, he stopped counting at 25 trophies. These successes span almost twenty years from 1965 until 1984, when the miners’ strikes put an end to Bill's personal contesting.
Bill was Scottish Euphonium Champion in 1967 and travelled down to Oxford to compete in the national finals. He first played in the Borders Music Festival in 1971 and received honours certificate for euphonium from Harry Dodd.
Bill often competed in various contests against Borders musicians like Dave Young, Tam Graham and Norman Walker as well as famous players like Phil McCann.
A major achievement came in 1998 when his local band was placed sixth in Scotland in the Championship section. In the same year, Bill competed against Grimethorpe Colliery at the Brass Band Miners Welfare contest in Blackpool
In 1980, adjudicator Roy Newsome awarded Bill “Best Instrumentalist” at the Edinburgh Charities Band Contest, which was a great achievement due to the number of bands taking part in the contest. These included the high number of top section bands.
Bill’s wife Margaret has support Bill's brass banding and often waited up to the wee hours for Bill to return from the contesting scene.
Bill is also a church elder, a keen gardener and also cycles over 10,000 miles each year — not bad for a 67 year old!
St. Ronan’s Silver Band offers its congratulations to Bill and looks forward to many more years of music.